It may be blazing hot outside, but spooky season is here, folks. It’s time to indulge in all things festive and fall. Here are the coolest October events.
(1) Pumpkin Patch Openings
All month | Varies | All day | Varies | Details
Why you should go: Pick the perfect pumpkin then grab a slice of a pizza and an apple cider slushie at Wise Acres, do a corn maze and take a hayride at Hodges Family Farm or snack on apple cider donuts (or donut sundaes) at Hall Family Farm.
[Agenda related guide: Quick guide to 13 must-visit pumpkin patches near Charlotte]
Now to October 27 | Carowinds | 7 p.m. | $38+ | Details
Why you should go: Carowinds transforms from “theme park” to “scream park” for its annual SCarowinds Halloween attraction. The event features 500+ monsters, ghosts and goblins roaming the grounds plus haunted attractions and shows.
(3) U.S. Women’s National Team v. Korea Republic
October 3 | Bank of America Stadium | 8 p.m. | $33-$348 | Details
Why you should go: This star-studded team of incredible athletes has the power to turn any layperson into a mega soccer fan. Support our women’s team as they dominate Korea Republic.
(4) Culture Feast
October 4 | South Tryon Street | 6-9 p.m. | $50 | Details
Why you should go: This will be the event’s fifth year running, and the unique experience includes a giant community outdoor dinner and arts and cultural experiences.
(5) USNWC’s Fall Festival
October 5 | U.S. National Whitewater Center | All day | Free, $6 parking | Details
Why you should go: The festival’s signature events is the Build Your Own Boat (BYOB) Competition, and you can also expect races, yoga and cider sampling ( $7 gets you four 4-ounce pours). So whether you prefer to celebrate the season through friendly outdoorsy competitions or are more of a sip-and-spectate kind of person, there’s something for everyone.
(6) Carolina Renaissance Festival
October 5 to November 24 | 16445 Poplar Tent Road | 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | $15 kids, $25 adults | Details
Why you should go: This 20-something-year-old annual festival takes you way back in time to the days of jousting, armored knights, feasting and more. Expect more than 500 characters in costume, 14 entertainment stages, hundreds of village vendors, turkey legs and other festival foods, knights on horseback, tomato tossing and more. The festival is every weekend through Nov. 24.
(7) Panthers v Jacksonville Jaguars
October 6 | Bank of America Stadium | 1 p.m. | $59-$361+ | Details
Why you should go: The ‘Thers only have one home game this month, so put on your black and blue and cheer on our home team while they defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
(8) Hola Charlotte Festival
October 12 | Uptown | Noon to 7 p.m. | Free | Details
Why you should go: This Hispanic heritage festival features nationally recognized entertainers and a Latin American cultural village highlighting 15 Latin American countries through fashion, dance, art, etc.
(9) 2019 N.C. State Fair
October 17-27 | 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh | Varies | $5-$13 | Details
Why you should go: I know this isn’t in Charlotte, but it’s worth the drive to Raleigh — and it should be on everyone’s fall bucket list. The fair is filled with deep-fried foods, vendors, spinning rides and excellent people watching opportunities.
(10) 45th Annual Carolina Balloonfest
October 18-20| 260 Hangar Drive, Statesville | All day | Free to $300 | Details
Why you should go: Go to see hot air balloons lift off both early in the morning and in the evening, and stay for live music, vendors, the Kids’ Zone, festival food and the wine and beer garden.
(11) South End Wine Festival
October 19 | 308 W. Carson Blvd. | 2-6 p.m. | $40+ | Details
Why you should go: A general admission ticket includes four hours of wine tastings and a festival souvenir sampling glass. You can get an early entry ticket for $10 more which gets you an extra hour of drinking.
(12) Sycamore’s 5 Year Anniversary!
October 19 | Sycamore Brewing | Noon to 11 p.m. | Free | Details
Why you should go: Expect special beer releases, live music, event tees and fireworks, plus the usual ciders, brews, etc.
(13) 26th Annual Apple Harvest Festival
October 19 | Windy Hill Orchard | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | $40+ | Details
Why you should go: All of the apples have already been picked, so you can kick back with apple cider donuts, hard cider, hayrides, barbecue and more.
(14) Rich & Bennett’s Halloween Bar Crawl
October 26 | Uptown | 1-10 p.m. | $10-$25 | Details
Why you should go: Put on a Halloween costume and rally your best guys and ghouls for a day/night of drink specials, event koozies, giveaways and a costume contest. It’s like trick-or-treating, expect instead of candy you get alcohol. There are more than 20 bars included in this year’s crawl.
(15) Charlotte Symphony: Nightmare Before Christmas
October 25 | Belk Theater | 7:30 p.m. | $19+ | Details
Why you should go: No one does Halloween better than Tim Burton. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be playing on the big screen and orchestra will bring the music to life for an even spookier experience.
(16) Runway 5K
October 26 | 5020 Hangar Road | 8 a.m. | $35 | Details
Why you should go: Anyone can watch the race for free, but there are three 5K options for runners/walkers (5K regular, 5K baby jogger walk/run and 5K wheelchair). You get to run/walk on the airport runway, so it’s a quick and flat race surrounded by planes taking off.
Looking for more things to do? Here’s the full Agenda calendar with over 50 big events.